Wednesday, May 6, 2009

20 Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Published by Little, Brown and Company
Release date: June 1, 2009
Genre: Young Adult

Anna Reiley’s best friend is Frankie Perino. They do everything together, they share all their deep dark secrets, but then Anna falls in love with Frankie’s older brother, Matt. Suddenly Anna has a secret from her best friend. Matt wants to be the one to tell his sister about their relationship. He makes Anna promise not to spill the beans just yet and she agrees. Tragedy strikes before Matt can tell Frankie anything. Now, Matt is gone and Anna intends to honor the promise she made to Matt. Frankie must never know the truth.

A year later, Frankie and her parents invite Anna to join them on their yearly trip to Zanzibar Bay, three thousand miles from home. Anna is thrilled to go since her own family never goes anywhere and she will get to be where Matt vacationed every year. She’d be able to see for herself all the places he told her about. Frankie tosses in a bit more fun then just a vacation, she vows they will meet 20 boys in twenty days. It’s the last thing Anna wants, but she goes along with it for Frankie’s sake. Anna has no intentions of meeting any other boy. She fears he would erase Matt completely from her life.

Things take a painful turn when Frankie gets out of control and Anna is attracted to a new guy she meets on the beach. This is a realistic look at two teenagers trying to deal with a tragedy that nobody, regardless of their age, should have to deal with. We also get a glimpse into the lives of Frankie’s parents and seeing how they are trying to deal with their own grief.

Sarah Ockler portrays each character quite realistically in their handling of grief, sadness and trying to move on with their lives. Readers will feel their own hearts tearing apart for the heartbreak these people experience. Ockler is an author to watch out for – I’m sure there are many more books coming our way from her, but it’s hard to think any can measure up to this beautifully written novel.


  1. Oh no, did he die :( So sad.
    But the book sounds promising

  2. i do like the sound of this. It reminds me of my youth - so many years ago.

  3. I just read (& reviewed here - ) this book as well, and I totally agree! The characters were very realistic, and the writing was just beautiful. Great review!


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